As we all have spring on our minds, I’d like to write about a lovely spring wildflower, Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica). The flower buds of Virginia Bluebells tend to start out pink, and the flowers are tinged with pink before they turn blue.
Virginia Bluebells are native throughout much of eastern and midwestern North America. It likes fertile, moist soil in deciduous woodlands. In the right spot, they are an easy care perennial. It is hardy from zone 8 all the way up to zone 3.
This spring ephemeral blooms usually in April here in Chicago. The foliage is oval, smooth, and blue-green, but becomes unsightly as it dies back. Virginia Bluebells are best planted with ferns or other companions that can obscure the dying foliage. Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) (that’s right, Lamprocapnos, not Dicentra, the taxonomists strike again) is another classic companion for Virginia Bluebells.
Virginia Bluebells will expand to form substantial clumps, but will also self-sow energetically, so that you will always have little seedlings to give away or move. I tend to let it grow where it sprouts if at all possible.
Thanks to Gail at Clay and Limestone for hosting Wildflower Wednesday on the fourth Wednesday of every month.